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Criminology and Criminal Justice (MA)

Course Description


Combining theoretical reflection and practical application, our course will provide you with an opportunity to specialise in the latest developments in criminology and criminal justice. We welcome applications from recent graduates, mature students, and professionals in criminal justice or related fields. We tailor teaching content to your individual educational and professional background and interests. Our teaching format provides you with many opportunities to develop your own intellectual interests or professional experience. You will attend four, three-day long blocks of intensive teaching and discussion between September and May, plus an additional half day dissertation workshop. This format allows you to combine your studies with either part-time or full time employment should you wish to do so.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/criminologyandcriminaljustice/

Course Aims

- To introduce students to recent and contemporary theorising in criminology and governance studies

- To show students how recent and contemporary theorising in criminology and governance studies has attempted to describe, analyse and interpret contemporary developments in criminal justice, transnational justice, international justice, and governance more broadly

- To enable students to think through methodological problems and choose appropriate methods for the study of crime, criminal justice, and governance

- To enable students to critically assess research in a number of fields within criminology, criminal justice, and governance studies more broadly

- To enable students to design and complete a research project and understand the importance of the research process in the social sciences

Course Content

Our taught master’s programme comprises four 30 credit module blocks and one 60 credit dissertation. Each taught module is assessed by a 5,000 word written assignment. The pass mark is 50% and you must pass each of the modules in order to progress to the dissertation, which involves researching and writing a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words under the supervision of an individual member of the teaching team. Each module block comprises three days of intensive face to face contact between staff and students. Students are also supported by online content and access to staff throughout the academic year. The programme is taught by criminologists who all have considerable research and teaching expertise in criminology, criminal justice and related subjects. Each three-day long module block is divided into four thematically linked sessions:

Indicative Modules
• Contemporary Criminology: Theory and Practice
• Researching Crime and Criminal Justice
• Contemporary Challenges in Criminal Justice

You will study an elective module (subject to change) in:
• Advanced Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice

You will also be offered full advice and support to undertake your dissertation.

This programme is designed to fit around your work and personal commitments. The taught content is delivered in twelve days and the extensive online supporting materials allow you to complete your personal study at times that suit you.

Teaching & Assessment

Each of the taught modules is assessed by written, summative coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words (essay, case-study, research proposal, and empirical research report). The pass mark is 50% and students must pass each of the modules in order to progress to the dissertation, which involves researching and writing a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words. There are no exams.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-Library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post-graduate programme.


Graduates from our course have found employment in a variety of occupations including: the accelerated police and prison graduate training programmes; the probation service; in other criminal justice agencies; in the voluntary sector with organisations such as Victim Support and NACRO; and in a variety of other graduate level jobs. In addition, a number of graduates have gone on to take postgraduate courses at Keele and elsewhere.

As part of your Criminology degree you will have gained a set of Distinctive Graduate Attributes that put you in a unique position in an uncertain labour market that demands graduate employees to be skilled, yet flexible, workers.

For further help and advice about how to put yourself in the best position upon graduation explore the Careers and Employability web pages or drop in to see them. They can help with all aspects of the transition into employment, from drawing up a CV to preparing for job interviews.

All students from North America (USA and Canada) are eligible for tuition breaks of 10%. Students from universities that are among Keele University's partner institutions are eligible for tuition breaks of up to 25% of the tuition fee.
Further information can be found at: http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesfornastudents/

All students are eligible for an ERASMUS grant for the period spent at an EU partner institution. For further information on Erasmus grants and tuition breaks, please contact

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

Visit the Criminology and Criminal Justice (MA) page on the Keele University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jodie Hart

I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice; my favourite aspects however have been the small teaching groups, the diversity of students and their interests, the knowledgeable and supportive teaching staff, and the teaching content which has been challenging and thought provoking. In the last year I feel my Criminological knowledge has considerably improved, especially in areas that I didn’t even know I was interested in! The nature of the enthusiastic teaching has made it all so accessible and given the opportunity I would stay on and do the course all over again!

(Student Profile)

Kevin Hoffin

The MA Criminology and Criminal Justice course has been as eye-opening as it has been relevant. The tutors have clearly worked tirelessly to ensure that the source material is current and therefore as interesting as possible. Concepts that have been introduced throughout the course have been explained perfectly, and I have no qualms about recommending this course to others. The structure of the course is perfect for those who juggle it alongside a job or family, and for those like me who travel a considerable distance to get to Keele, it is surprisingly affordable.


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an honours degree at 2:2 class or higher (or international equivalent) in one of the humanities or social sciences subjects (e.g. law, criminal justice, criminology, sociology, history, political science). However, applicants with other qualifications and appropriate experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students for whom English is a second language will need English language proficiency of at least 6.5 in IELTS test scores (or equivalent).

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